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‘It was pure evil’: Alternate Lori Vallow juror talks about the evidence and who really killed the children


An alternate juror in the Lori Vallow Daybell triple murder trial never really doubted that the defendant was legally responsible for the murder of her children – even if she didn’t physically take part in the violence that took those two young lives.

“The money motivator,” Tiffany told Law&Crime host Jesse Webber in an interview this week – explaining the key pieces of evidence that turned jurors against Vallow. “She made sure to transfer Tylee’s funds into her account. And just prepping for Tylee’s death. And the text messages. She was constantly asking what the death percentages were for her kids. And talking about evil spirits – that they needed to be gotten rid of. It was clearly encouraging her brother, Alex Cox, to do some harm because they had evil spirits in them.”

Vallow and her fifth and current husband, Chad Daybell, 54, were both charged with murder over the 2019 deaths of Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ashlyn Ryan, 17. The children disappeared on different dates in September of that year. Vallow was initially arrested in Hawaii in February 2020 on charges of child desertion. Daybell was arrested in June 2020 after the children’s bodies were found buried at his property. The two defendants were indicted for the murder of Vallow’s children and Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell, 49, in May 2021 on multiple counts of murder in the first degree, conspiracy to commit murder in the first degree, and grand theft by deception.

Vallow was convicted late last week. Daybell will stand trial on the same charges as his wife at a later date.

‘A warrior for Lori’

But, Tiffany told Law&Crime, there is a third person who would stand trial if he were still alive: her since-deceased brother.

Cox shot and killed Vallow’s immediately prior husband, Charles Vallow, in Chandler, Arizona, in July 2019 during an alleged dispute of some sort. The killer claimed self-defense at the time and was not prosecuted – he later died of natural causes before authorities began to reassess Charles Vallow’s death and rebrand it as a homicide.

Vallow has long been indicted for conspiracy to murder Charles Vallow.

On Tuesday, Phoenix-based Fox affiliate KSAZ reporter Justin Lum revealed that Vallow has also been indicted in Maricopa County, Arizona for the attempted murder of Brandon Boudreaux, the ex-husband of Vallow’s niece, Melani Boudreaux Pawlowski. Cox is believed by law enforcement to have been the gunman in a failed attempt on Boudreaux’s life in October 2019.

“They were all three working together,” Tiffany told Law&Crime. “I honestly believe that they manipulated him so much that he did anything that they said. He was a warrior for Lori.”

Tiffany also said she believed Cox was the one who actually, physically, killed Vallow’s two children.

“His palm prints or fingerprints on the bag,” she said. “There was consistent evidence that he was in the area. That’s actually eventually how they found where the graves were. Because his cellphone…was pinging off towers exactly in the location that the gravesites were. So, I do believe that he carried out Lori’s orders. I do.”

‘She encouraged it’

The alternate juror stressed, however, that Vallow was heavily pushing the murders – despite various manipulations.

“I do think that she knew that they were killed – probably to get rid of their evil spirit.” Tiffany said. “But do I think that she knows under what circumstances where how it was done? I don’t know about that.”

The alternate juror said that if she had been asked to cast a vote and decide her fate, she would have voted to convict Vallow. “At first I was disappointed I didn’t get to speak my voice,” she said.

The alternate did say she would have wanted to deliberate longer on one lone charge: the murder conspiracy to kill Tammy Daybell. Asked to explain why that accusation might have needed more thought and discussion, she said: “It just wasn’t as solid as the other charges.”

Webber asked Tiffany if she thought Daybell was the one who killed his first wife. She said: “I think he definitely had a heavier hand in it.”

The Law&Crime host also asked the alternate juror what she thought about the defense’s argument that Daybell was the mastermind. The juror allowed that Daybell was probably behind Vallow’s “bizarre” religious conversion into “believing some certain ideas” but dismissed the idea that Daybell was the one who pushed the murders above all.

“The judge made it extremely clear to us that we may not get the smoking gun,” the alternate juror continued at another point. “There was enough evidence, circumstantial evidence, that she planned it, she encouraged it, and saw it through.”

‘The prophet and his wife’

Tiffany repeatedly returned to the role faith played in the defendant’s life – and in the state’s case against her.

“This is just so bizarre,” the alternate juror said – describing her overall reaction to the testimony and evidence presented during the trial.

“I was shocked to just hear some of the things, the phone calls, and see the texts,” she continued. “There was so much to it. There was so much evidence to piece together that it was just so bizarre. I never knew it was so complex. That there were so many criminal activities tied to this particular case.”

Webber asked what the overarching motive seemed to be for Vallow to kill her children – allegedly in league with her husband.

“I think it was just a storm – a whirlwind of things just collided in October 2018 when they got together,” the alternate juror said, “It was part religious belief; that they thought they were higher powers; that they thought they were going to be the last people standing on this earth. That was one aspect to it. And, I do honestly believe that money had a lot to do with it as well.”

“They both related themselves to these higher powers,” she went on. “The prophet and his wife. That they were married in prior creations.”

At one point Tiffany laughed: “It sounded like a cult to me.”

Tiffany also described Vallow’s mood during the trial – an apparent aloofness that was likely influenced by the remnants of her faith.

“For the most part she avoided eye contact,” the alternate said, describing the defendant’s behavior in court. “I looked at her during some critical times where I felt maybe I should have seen some emotion on her face but I didn’t see anything. It just felt like she didn’t accept that, you know, these charges were against her. Or maybe she still felt like she was in some higher power – that these charges, you know, didn’t apply to her. I don’t know. But she just seemed very unemotional for most of the trial.”

‘Pure evil’

The experience of serving on this particular case, the alternate juror said, often left her sad and overcome with emotion.

“It was incredibly disturbing that somebody would do that to two kids. And I would come home to my teenage daughter and just cry and she would just hold me and give me a hug,” Tiffany said as she began to sob. “There was one day I saw a kid like walking in the grocery store with his pajamas on and his bare feet. And I just came home and I just cried. Like, how could somebody do something to children like that? It was pure evil.”

A juror who did sit in judgment and decide Vallow’s fate recently spoke with ABC News’ Matt Gutman about the case.

“I don’t think as a human being you are ever really prepared to experience this,” Saul Hernandez told Good Morning America on Wednesday. “You know? You hear about it on movies, TV.”

The ABC News correspondent asked how the juror felt seeing pictures of Vallow and her current husband dancing on a Hawaiian beach just weeks after the brutal murder of the two children.

“I was disgusted,” Hernandez said. “I didn’t want to look at them. I didn’t believe someone could be that happy when your kids are in the ground. And the person that was key in all of this is sitting across from you, smiling at you, and dancing with you on the beach.”

By the end of the trial, the juror said, he found it increasingly difficult to look at the defendant – though he was initially a hold-out on whether or not Vallow bore legal responsibility for the death of her teenage daughter. That changed after he reviewed the evidence on the second day of deliberations, he said.

“Growing up you talk about ‘Good and Bad,’ ‘God and Evil,'” the juror mused. “I think for the first time in my life I put a face to Evil.”

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